Saab has released pictures and details of its first all-electric vehicle, the 9-3 ePower.
The company says the ePower is ‘the first practical family estate with all-electric propulsion’ and claims a range of 124 miles.
It also says it will build a 70-strong test fleet, which will start real world, data-logged, trials in Sweden at the beginning of 2012.
This prototype will not make it to production, but this modified floorpan will be used as the basis for Saab’s new ‘Phoenix Architecture’, which will underpin the next-generation 9-3 and 9-5, opening the way for fully electric versions of the Saab’s future medium and large car ranges.
The ePower uses a 35.5 kWh Lithium-ion battery pack which Saab says will operate ‘with full power’ at temperatures as low as -30degC, ‘at least 10degC below the operating level of other battery packs on the market’.
The battery pack is fitted into the 9-3’s floorpan, using the centre tunnel and the space usually occupied by the fuel tank.
A 184bhp electric motor drives the front wheels through a single speed transmission, for a claimed 0-62mph time of just 8.5secs and a top speed of 93mph.
Air-con is provided by a battery-driven compressor, and a 12v battery drives the lights and cabin equipment.
The battery pack has a claimed 10-year life and the ‘first to receive a Nordic Ecolabel accreditation for its environmental safety and sustainability, which includes manufacturing processes’.